Last week, the Supreme Court’s five conservative justices joined together to invalidate a 63-year-old ban on corporate money in federal elections and in the process overruled a 20-year-old precedent permitting such bans on corporate electioneering. “There were principled, narrower paths that a court that was serious about judicial restraint could have taken,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in dissent, essentially “accusing his colleagues of judicial activism,” in the words of the New York Times’ Adam Liptak.
[ ]….Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a former judge and current Judiciary Committee member, called such complaints “hysterical.” He thinks the court’s decision last week was simply an effort to “to protect the Constitution’s First Amendment rights of free speech and association.” But his charge that Democrats are “hysterical” over right-wing judicial activism is odd considering he mused in 2005 that there might be a connection between violent attacks against judges and judges “making political decisions“
Cornyn is a finalists in the national contest among Republicans to see who can be the biggest hypocrite when it comes to “judicial activism”. Though another gotcha moment on the Lies Republicans Tell list, it goes a little deeper then that. Cornyn has done what Republicans consistently do with matters of interpreting the Constitution. They first fawn over a court decision, then back pedal to find some rationalization for same. Their approach to the law is not about carefully considered principles, but much like a spoiled child, getting what they want.
“From Hijinks to Handcuffs,” reads the headline, “A Provocative Conservative Movement Born on Campus.” And the former GOP hero is the star from the first sentence: “James O’Keefe III, the guerrilla videographer, advised conservative students this month that they needed to start taking more risks.”
The NYT is doing exactly what Pete Willams did on the Today Show last week portray the four as mere pranksters. Again we have to wonder if the NYT or NBC would be gaming the narrative if four Democratic pranksters had tampered with the phones of a Republican politician.
There is at least one conservative out there that does not worship at O’Keefe’s feet, Friend of O’Keefe reportedly objected to past transcript distortion
O’Keefe friend said she “grew disillusioned” with his tactics after being asked to doctor transcript of a past film. A September 18, 2009, New York Times article reported that Liz Farkas, a college friend of O’Keefe’s while at Rutgers University, said she “grew disillusioned” after O’Keefe asked Farkas to help deceptively “edit the script” of a video involving a nurse at the University of California at Los Angeles.
William Jacobson, who writes a conservative blog called Legally Incompetent or something in that price range writes that the president is not allowed to criticize the SCOTUS because it undermines the rule of law. There are only two things to conclude from Jacobson’s self-righteous bonehead remarks – for a lawyer he is amazingly ignorant of history or he is lying to pander to his wingnutty followers. You Disagree With Tony Kennedy (When He Reaches a Conservative Result), You Oppose the Rule of Law
For further comedy, in attempting to claim that Obama’s public disagreement with 5 of the Court’s 9 members was “unprecedented,” Col. Mustard uncritically quotes someone asserting that “[e]ven President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a lot of grievances with the Court, never mentioned it in any of his State of the Union messages.” This might strike you as implausible in the extreme. Well, I happen to have FDR’s 1937 State of the Union Address right here, and…
It should go without saying, but L,G,&M also notes Republican presidents who have ranted about the SCOTUS. As usual for a conservative legal “expert” Jacobson has it ass-backwards, it’s the court or in specific Justice Alito( another mediocre and confused conservative legal mind) who has impugned the integrity of the Supreme Court and the rule of law, Justice Alito’s conduct and the Court’s credibility
There’s a reason that Supreme Court Justices — along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff — never applaud or otherwise express any reaction at a State of the Union address. It’s vital — both as a matter of perception and reality — that those institutions remain apolitical, separate and detached from partisan wars. The Court’s pronouncements on (and resolutions of) the most inflammatory and passionate political disputes retain legitimacy only if they possess a credible claim to being objectively grounded in law and the Constitution, not political considerations.